Innovative Technology Talent Development Program Phase I Approved for Funding by GO Virginia

(Richmond, VA) September 23, 2020 – Yesterday, the state GO Virginia Board approved funding in the amount of $251,960 from GO Virginia Region One for Phase I of the Ignite Technology Talent. Phase I will develop and produce a comprehensive plan for the region to define priorities and establish performance metrics for programmatic activities for the tech talent pipeline in Southwest Virginia.

Ignite Tech Talent builds on United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Ignite program by focusing on this specialized sector strategy.  Ignite Tech Talent will focus on funneling students into Information Technology careers across Southwest Virginia.  Pathways will be aligned with transferable skills and credit to advance their education, experience and plans to full-time I.T. employment.

“United Way of Southwest Virginia is partnering to provide the emerging workforce with the needed support. The growth of the technology job sector is vitally important to the long-term success of our region and Commonwealth,” said Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia.

More than twenty partners have committed resources, both cash and in-kind to the project. Partners investing in the project include: United Way of Southwest Virginia, Code VA, UVA Wise, Mountain Empire Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, New River Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, Major Clarity, Region 7 Superintendents Association, Bland County Schools, Bristol City Public Schools, Buchanan County Schools, Carroll County Schools, Dickenson County Schools, Galax City Schools, Grayson County Schools, Lee County Schools, Norton City Schools, Russell County Schools, Scott County Schools, Smyth County Schools, Tazewell County Schools, Washington County Schools, Wise County Schools, and Wythe County Schools.


The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in each region (GO Virginia) is a bipartisan, business-led economic development initiative. GO Virginia promotes the creation of high wage careers, private sector job growth and diversification across the Commonwealth through incentivized regional collaboration. GO Virginia Region One covers the 13 counties and 3 cities in the three planning districts that represent Southwest Virginia. The Region One Council is mostly made up of private sector business leaders and some members of the public sector and higher education. For more information on GO Virginia Region One, visit For more information on GO Virginia, visit